The BoSox Injection staff’s preview of the Boston Red Sox 25-man roster continues with a look at starting pitcher David Price.
The top priority for Dave Dombrowski in his first offseason at the helm of the Boston Red Sox front office was to find an ace to anchor the rotation. If we were to grade the team’s new president of baseball operations on his achievement of this goal he would pass with flying colors, as the Red Sox managed to land one of the best pitchers in baseball.
David Price is certainly among the elite pitchers in the game and all it took to reel him in was a record 7-year, $217 million deal. As staggering as that contract seems, Price is worth it given the glaring need at the front end of the rotation. The Red Sox learned the hard way in 2015 that they simply can’t compete with a collection of middle of the rotation starters. They needed a leader that would allow the rest of the staff to settle into their roles instead of following the laughable notion that they could all be aces. We soon found out that none of them were, but Price changes all of that.
Price won 18 games last season in time split between the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, while owning a career-best 2.45 ERA that led the American League. He was selected to his 5th All-Star appearance, finished as the runner-up in the Cy Young award race and was 9th in MVP voting.
More from BoSox Injection
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
It’s been well documented what Price has accomplished in his career, but the focus now turns to what he can do for this Red Sox rotation. Having an ace that led the league in ERA will do wonders to improve a staff that finished 13th in the league with a 4.39 ERA last season, but his impact goes deeper than that.
Price tossed 220.1 innings last season, marking the fifth time in the last six years that he has topped 200 innings. None of the Red Sox pitchers approached that total last season. Wade Miley came the closest with 193.2, but he’s not even on the team anymore. The entire staff produced three complete games last season, while Price had three of his own. Price struck out 225 batters, which was over 75 more strikeouts than Rick Porcello‘s team-leading total. Price was worth 5.9 WAR last season, while the four starters expected to join him in the rotation this year combined for 6.9 WAR.
It’s clear that Price is not only far and away the best pitcher on this staff, but his value last season nearly matched what Boston’s entire staff produced. You can count on him for 200+ innings, a sub-3.00 ERA, bundles of strikeouts and a seat at the table in the conversation for the league’s best pitcher. You can’t feel comfortable saying that any other pitcher on this staff will give you that.
The Red Sox have made a lot of moves this winter to upgrade every area of the team, but there is no more significant upgrade than the one they made at the front of the rotation. If there is one main reason to be excited about the Red Sox returning to contention in 2016, it’s the addition of David Price.